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Greetings, Carolr5204, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Previous posts have stated that unearned income (dividends & interest) are not calculated to determine ss benefit amt. however, it clearly states in tmf pixy's article (1/18/00) that unearned income is calculated. I find this confusing. Next year, at age 62, i wish to take ss benefits. Although, I have no earned income, I do have a high investment income and am told by my accountant that i will be giving most if not all of the ss benefits back in taxes. It seems so very unfair.
anyway, would appreciate a clear statement on whether or not unearned income factors into the ss payout amt.
also would like to say how useful and enjoyable this board is.>>

There are two issues involved, forfeiture of Social Security because you work and taxation of Social Security if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshholds. These issues are separate and distinct.

In your case, up to 85% of your Social Security benefit will be taxed because of your investment earnings. That is not the same as forfeiture. For an example of that taxation, see my article "It's Income Tax Time" at That will help clarify your situation. As to forfeiture because of work, that you can find examples of in previous posts on this board over the past three days.

In next Monday's article I will try to clarify these issues. Because of the "apples and oranges" statements I have seen in various posts (yours included) over the past week, I thought further discussion was necessary.

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